Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule brings great benefits


Lok Cheung on

College students are known to have poor sleep schedules.

School can be overwhelming, especially during a global pandemic. With assignments, projects and possibly a job to maintain, the importance of a good night’s sleep cannot be overlooked. College life comes with challenges that lead to sleepless nights and purposeful all-nighters but this is not a good strategy. Sleep deprivation, in addition to fatigue, can cause memory issues, weight gain and lead to high blood pressure.

The first thing you can do to have a good sleep schedule is to actually have a sleep schedule. Waking up and going to sleep at the same time creates a healthy cycle that you will benefit from in the long run. You should pay attention to what you eat and drink. In general, you should avoid going to bed either full or hungry, as this can cause discomfort while you sleep and make you more likely to wake up in the middle of the night. Try eating your last meal two to three hours before bed, giving your body enough time to digest. 

Cutting back on caffeine, as difficult as it may sound, will also help your sleep. While coffee does keep you awake during the day, it also keeps you up at night, depending on when you drink it. It starts a cycle where you do not sleep at night so you drink coffee during the day, which then keeps you awake at night.

As you have probably heard before, less screen time before bed will also help you fall asleep faster. Cell phones, iPads and laptops can stimulate your brain for hours, keeping you awake longer. Make a habit of not using your electronic devices at least an hour before you go to sleep. Instead, do some deep breathing exercises or read a book.

One of the most important factors of a healthy sleep schedule is daily exercise. Exercise, especially routine movement, promotes melatonin production and helps you sleep better. However, you should not exercise within hours of bedtime, as this will stimulate your brain and prevent you from falling asleep.

We are living in very stressful times and that can be amplified by not getting proper sleep. If you can maintain a healthy sleep schedule, it will improve your mood and physical well-being as well as your mental well-being. You will have more energy during the day and an easier time going to sleep at night.